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BEIJING X55

The somewhat obscure name might make some understandably apprehensive, but the Beijing X55 5 is a newcomer worth your attention.

Chinese car manufacturers continue to penetrate the South African market, and the Beijing Automotive Industry Corp (BAIC) has joined the ranks of Haval and Chery with the introduction of their latest SUV offering, the Beijing X55. Boasting impressive aesthetics and an array of features, the X55 is a newcomer that is poised to make a lasting impression on South African consumers.

STYLISH AND FUTURISTIC DESIGN

The Beijing X55 is a head-turner with a sleek and futuristic design. The car features stylish headlights, a futuristic grille design, and a split design rear spoiler that adds to its aesthetic appeal. The black cladding around the body contrasts nicely against the paintwork, while a chrome accent around the window area adds a bit of spice to the side profile. The 19-inch alloys on the review unit also added to the car’s flair. Overall, the X55 is a stylish newcomer that is sure to impress.

The X55’s cabin features a minimalist design, dominated by a 10.1-inch infotainment system and a digital instrument cluster. The car’s features are accessible through the touchscreen infotainment system, which may take some time to get used to. The car lacks Android Auto and Apple Carplay, but the integrated app within the infotainment system allows for smartphone app mirroring. The Beijing X55 also boasts an alliance with Daimler, which adds to the car’s appeal. The overall build quality is good, although some creaks and rattles were noted over time. The cabin is spacious enough to accommodate tall rear passengers and comes with stylish leather-wrapped seats, heating and cooling functionality, ambient lighting, and a panoramic sunroof.

PERFORMANCE AND RIDE QUALITY

The Beijing X55 is equipped with a 1.5-litre 4-cylinder turbo-petrol engine that delivers 130kW and 305Nm. The engine is mated to a smooth 7-speed DCT, which drives the front wheels. The car can accelerate from 0-100km/hr in just 7.8 seconds, making it one of the fastest models in the segment. The car’s power outputs are impressive, and the gearbox is barely discernible, working smoothly through the ratios in the background. The X55 is comfortable for daily use and handles well around corners. However, fuel consumption is something to look out for, as the X55 can be quite thirsty, averaging close to 9l/100km during a review period.

LAST WORD

The Beijing X55 is a newcomer that offers a substantial list of features and styles for a relatively small price. Although the car’s name may be somewhat obscure, its impressive design, cabin experience, performance, and ride quality make it a strong contender in the SUV market. The X55 is a 2023 COTY finalist and has managed to make a solid first impression on South African consumers. As the market responds to the newcomer, it will be interesting to see how it competes with other Chinese SUV offerings in the local market.

Report by BRYAN KAYAVHU | Images © BAIC SOUTH AFRICA

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